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How coronavirus could shift the toxic poverty narrative

Less shaming and more empathy is needed

By Melissa Benn   June 2020
Food bank usage is up during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: PA images

Food bank usage is up during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: PA images

It is rare that the central argument of a book is so eerily transformed by events. If it had not been for the coronavirus, Mary O’Hara’s The Shame Game would have been respectfully received and tidily shelved alongside several other stringent assessments of the ugly politics of austerity.

Instead, over a million previously employed UK citizens have applied for universal credit, with many unable to meet their…

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